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New Housing Proposed for Grand Avenue

The project’s proposed lobby and landscaped buffer on Thomas Avenue. (Rendering provided by Silver Bluff Developers)
A view of the project’s proposed pedestrian plaza on Grand Avenue. (Rendering provided by Silver Bluff Developers)
A night-time view of the proposed Bimini Block project on Grand Avenue. (Rendering provided by Silver Bluff Developers)

4 Comments

  1. My memory may be a bit fuzzy after so many years of back and forth with Grand Ave development, but I thought at one time there was a 3 story limit on building height and developers and the City reached an agreement to allow 5 stories if the developer provided a certain number of affordable housing in their building. Anyone recall that?

  2. “It’s not altogether bad.” Which means it could be a helluva lot worse now, but should and could have been a remarkable architectural and cultural testament to what is possible when elected leaders listen to their residents and then try to do their best to act upon what they hear. Just go to the Spotlight’s Community Voices to see what the West Grove (now Little Bahama) residents wanted when they asked for help over two decades ago.

    I give Gardner/Savage/Abbhi credit for at least giving a significant nod to the Bahamian neighborhood where they are building on a street that’s only 75 ft wide and with frontage lots only 90 ft deep. It’s never been easy, which is why the 2002 Visage Plan proposed mainly 2 and 3 story structures like Miami Lakes, so there could be both adequate parking and green space for the local shops and apartments to be built on Grand. That became impossible once land prices soared from under $20 psf to now over $250 psf. You have to go higher and denser.

    At least this new development stays to 5 stories as Miami 21 allows, even though there’s no “affordable housing” included (Don’t you just hate that meaningless term that politicians and developers so love to throw about?), Plans for Grand Avenue going back to the former zoning code’s “Unlimited height” would have allowed unobstructed views of the Bay from the 6th floor up, and those views would definitely never have been “affordable” for all but a very few West Grovites. And at least this proposed new development doesn’t try to palm off something a previous developer and their attorney called “Bahamian Modern Architecture.”

    The real villain in this decades-long tale of missed opportunities to do something both right and magical is the City Of Miami’s failure to do anything but neglect this historic community’s Vision Plan painstakingly crafted from a solid week of work by residents back in 2002 under the leadership of the University of Miami’s Center for Urban and Community Design led by the late Samina Quraeshi and her husband Richard Shepard. Hundred’s of residents. The only fruit that resulted was the Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD 2) which is largely ignored even now by the City’s Building Department, or “settled” by the City’s Legal Department when aggrieved neighbors try to sue for demolition as they did on Day Avenue. “Oops” is neither an apology nor justice.

    I could go on but I must have gotten something in my eye.

  3. Among the comments that I made is that development is needed, the project is very sensitive and compliant to the style of development that Grove residents have called for. The issue there has been no policies or efforts to include previously displaced area residents. We can, we must incentivize the developers to include mixed income units in these projects. They must be sweet enough that they cannot refuse. It is the various levels government’s responsibility to do so.
    This would be greatly beneficial stabilizing our mercantile sector as well as fulfilling the unmet needs of the neglected and displaced residents.

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